High School Lessons To Take To College

10 OG High School Lessons I Packed Up And Took To College With Me

Listen, listen, listen.

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Packing for college can be a little stressful. You've got to make sure you have enough clothes for all of the seasons, the right books and supplies for your classes, all of your toiletries, enough storage space to put this stuff in. You've got to make sure you've got all of your pictures of your BFFs from home and your family printed out, all of the decorations for your room put together, and all of your snacks ready to go. Those were all of the necessities for me...or so I thought.

The most important thing that I've brought to college has been some advice and lessons I learned on the road to get here. More specifically, the lessons I learned in high school.

In high school, I learned...

1. Embrace the struggle

There were so many nights during my junior year that felt like they'd never end. I was drowning in my various assignments, but mostly struggling with mental health and outside situations that made me feel like things would never get better. After getting out of that dark period, I learned that instead of looking at those moments with the mindset of, "Why is this happening to me?" that I should look at it with the mentality of, "What is this teaching me?" or "How can I grow from this?"

2. Find at least one thing every day that you can look forward to

In high school, I think a lot of people fall into the same routine. You go to school. You take the same classes every day. You sit by the same people at lunch. Etcetera. Life doesn't have to be so bland and uniform. If you can find one thing to stand out each day that can bring you a little bit of joy, even when it feels like you're just going through the motions, that can make all the difference in the world.

3. You don't have to be defined by the choices you've made

Wake up and take each day as it comes. With an open heart, an open mind, and a whole sea of possibilities awaiting. I think in high school, especially as a freshman and sophomore, I was still struggling with the person I was in middle school. Those three years were the worst for me, and they turned me into a person I wasn't proud of. I spent so much time dwelling on the past until I realized that I couldn't move on until I let it go. I had to take responsibility, obviously, but I wasn't the same person I was then, so why was I letting that version of myself controll my life? Own up to yesterday's mistakes and follies, learn from them, and grow.

4. That being said, don't forget where you've been

My mom always tells me that a parents job is to love their kids and prepare them to leave the nest. To help them plant their roots at home but to be able to grow somewhere else. I think that's beautiful, and I think it's important. I grew up moving around from place to place, never staying anywhere for more than a year or two before the military would move my Dad and station him elsewhere. That was my life until we finally settled in Charleston. Charleston is my home, but I also feel equally as content and at home here in Rhode Island. I miss my family, I know where my roots are planted, but I am here, growing in Rhode Island, and becoming the best version of myself.

5. Your feelings are valid

You have sucky days. You have days where you feel like you're on top of the world. Both kinds of days are equally as important.

6. The best kind of people are the ones that push you to be the most genuine version of yourself

There were cliques at my school. When your school has 4,000 kids, it'd be a miracle if there weren't. I think when I first got to high school, I wanted so badly to find my place, I put my passions and personality on the back burner. I found a group of unique, creative, and loving people who pushed me to be the best, most authentic version of myself. That's how I knew I'd found my place. No matter what you love to do or who you're surrounded by, make sure you're being authentic. The people who want to be around that you are the ones worth keeping forever.

7. Family is more than just your blood

Yes, that is super cliche. But don't think for one second that this isn't true. In high school, I was a part of yearbook and choir for four years in some way shape or form. Over the course of those four years, I met some of my best friends, learned how to love, and laugh and feel free with these groups of people who cared for me. I looked forward to seeing hundreds of people every single day because each of them played a role in making me who I am today.

8. Go on random 1 a.m. adventures with people you love

My senior year of high school was one of the best years of my life. I had ups and downs, but I think 2017-2018 was the school year I laughed the most, loved the best, and felt free. My friends and I almost all went to different schools, so we spent as much time as we could with each other. Days at the beach or going on little trips turned into nights filled with Italian food and movies at my house, which turned into piling into various cars and going to the beach after midnight to try and find ghost crabs. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you're doing it with people who make the strangest of things seem like the most fun thing in the world.

9. Travel as often as you can

Whether you're taking an 8-hour bus trip to Orlando, a 36-hour ride to Colorado, or a 4-hour flight to DC, find people who make the destination equally as entertaining as the journey to get there. And then go out and explore.

10.  Listen

To people you know. To strangers. To people you agree with. To people you don't. To people who are younger than you, or older than you. Listen to your classmates and their ideas and their dreams. Listen, listen, listen, listen. It's the only way you can start to shape a well-rounded worldview and grow. Listen and know your truth, and don't be afraid to change it should you discover you had some things wrong. Listen and learn from people from different walks of life from you. Listen for a new perspective. Listen to your gut about things. Listen to your heart, too. Listen listen listen.

High school seems like an eternity ago, but at the same time, I still recall my experiences and these lessons so vividly. Probably because I'll need them forever.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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